Empty Haven Of Karaganda

Empty Haven Of Karaganda

Sary-Arka Airport is located 20 kilometers south of the city of Karaganda, Kazakhstan. It is the largest and, perhaps, the most beautiful airport in the country which has just one problem – it has extremely low air passenger traffic. Let’s try to find out why.

Empty Haven Of Karaganda

Empty Haven Of Karaganda

The airport was built in 1934, and moved to its current location after 10 years.

In 1992 the airport was granted an international status. It has become an independent joint stock company after separation from JSC “Karagandaavia” in 1997.

Empty Haven Of Karaganda

Its total area is 30,000 m2.

Empty Haven Of Karaganda

In 1980 the airport underwent major reconstruction, including construction of a new terminal building and modernization of its runway. This made landing of heavier aircraft possible and opened the door to many new destinations of the Soviet Union.

Empty Haven Of Karaganda

Empty Haven Of Karaganda

Its “star ceiling” is one of the most remarkable peculiarities of the airport.

Empty Haven Of Karaganda

This is the way the ceiling looks like in the nighttime.

Empty Haven Of Karaganda

This vintage chandelier was custom-made in Simferopol.

Empty Haven Of Karaganda

It still looks pretty stylish.

Empty Haven Of Karaganda

These rarity Moskvich 408 and VAZ 2101 are exposed on the second floor.

Empty Haven Of Karaganda

The inscription of this car says, “This car depicts the victory in World War II, namely its two main militant centers – the victorious Kremlin and the defeated Reichstag…”

Empty Haven Of Karaganda

The airport features a restaurant seating 150 persons.

Empty Haven Of Karaganda

Empty Haven Of Karaganda

Its ambiance reminds that of old aristocratic England.

Empty Haven Of Karaganda

Empty Haven Of Karaganda

Galia is a barmaid and waitress. She’s been working here for two years.

Empty Haven Of Karaganda

She says there are not many clients at the restaurant. On workdays they serve about 5 people. They serve European food and provide in-flight catering.

Empty Haven Of Karaganda

They take care about their business-class passengers.

Empty Haven Of Karaganda

The airport’s VIP zone.

Empty Haven Of Karaganda

This girl has been working as a waitress for two years too. She says she has to be super polite and friendly and wishes she had more clients to serve.

Empty Haven Of Karaganda

The airport is huge but there are just three to four flights here daily, while in the 90s the number was 60.

Empty Haven Of Karaganda

Empty Haven Of Karaganda

After the fall of the Soviet Union, the number of people traveling from one country to another reduced which became crucial for the airport.

Empty Haven Of Karaganda

The airport of Astana is situated 250 km from Sary-Arka Airport and the vast majority of people prefer to travel through Astana.

Empty Haven Of Karaganda

A family sees Alexander off (the second from the right) to Kyzylordy where he works. He has to go there twice a week but just two to three times a week he manages to go there by plane because the aircraft doesn’t run on a daily basis.

Empty Haven Of Karaganda

There are not enought flights here in Karaganda so people have to go to the airport to Astana.

Empty Haven Of Karaganda

This huge but empty building reminds this young man of a horror movie.

Empty Haven Of Karaganda

The runway has been reconstructed as well.

Empty Haven Of Karaganda

This airport is the only one in Kazakhstan that features a freight terminal that meets all international standards.

Empty Haven Of Karaganda

Up-to-date and expensive machinery is hardly ever used.

Empty Haven Of Karaganda

These two brothers are drivers with a 14-year working experience.

Empty Haven Of Karaganda

With new snow-removing vehicles, it takes them just two hours to get snow off the runway.

Empty Haven Of Karaganda

In the control center.

Empty Haven Of Karaganda

Up to two cargo aircrafts land in the airport of Karaganda daily.

Empty Haven Of Karaganda

This aircraft heading from Hong Kong to Luxemburg has landed to refuel.

Empty Haven Of Karaganda

You need to have an authorization to cross the red line.

Empty Haven Of Karaganda

Vladimir has been working here for 29 years. He’s responsible for maintenance service and refuelling.

Empty Haven Of Karaganda

One of the white collars of the airport.

Empty Haven Of Karaganda

They now recall the year of 1995 when they had to work in two shifts (12 hours each).

Empty Haven Of Karaganda

There were people and lines everywhere and the airport was “alive”.

Empty Haven Of Karaganda

This is a schedule of flights for 1990.

Empty Haven Of Karaganda

A modern one.

Empty Haven Of Karaganda

Last year, the world’s largest aircraft landed here in Karaganda. It was an Antonov An-225 mria carrying a cargo of 136 tons. The plane was designed to transport a space shuttle.

Empty Haven Of Karaganda

Closer to the evening, a plane from Almaty landed.

Empty Haven Of Karaganda

Empty Haven Of Karaganda

Empty Haven Of Karaganda

They unload its luggage first.

Empty Haven Of Karaganda

Empty Haven Of Karaganda

This very plane will head back to Almaty in just one hour.

Empty Haven Of Karaganda

Empty Haven Of Karaganda

Empty Haven Of Karaganda

Carrying out a security check.

Empty Haven Of Karaganda

Bibigul likes her job because she ensures safety of her passengers.

Empty Haven Of Karaganda

Back then, when air passenger traffic was high, they had to check every suitcase manually which took a lot of time and caused jams. Today they have new up-to-date equipment and look forward to having more passengers here at Sary-Arka.

Location: Karaganda

via voxpopuli

6 thoughts on “Empty Haven Of Karaganda”

  1. Mmmm…
    Here, in Spain, we have some new “ghost airports” too. For example, the airport of Huesca, had only 21 passengers in last year; the airport of Logroño, 48 passengers…
    No only in Kazakhstan politics men have wasted lots of money in pharaonic and unnecessary buildings.
    But crisis is the fault of capitalism.

  2. now marketing, marketing, first free reciprocal visa to everybody, no letter invitation no more burocratic papers for the tourists, and more marketing around the world even nobody knows the name of this country Kaza what??

  3. Another ex-Soviet country that blames western countries because they do not want to adopt modern capitalist economies.

  4. Looking on Google Earth, you can see the airport also hosts a military base with at least a couple of dozen fighter jets visible, so although the passenger facilities are now little used, I guess the runway is still well used and important for the military?

    Very interesting article and good photos.

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